Colleen Figg

A hard nut to crack

2007-11-23 08:03

Colleen Figg

Have you noticed how difficult it is to open things these days?

I've been conducting an ongoing observation of this curious phenomenon for the past year or so and am finding that things are getting increasingly difficult to get at. I'm talking about everyday items such as packets of crisps, fruit juices, pasta, soap powder in buckets, and more.

Only the other day my sister and I battled to open a tub of pesto from Woollies, once you open the lid, there is a thin piece of plastic sealing the tub which is stuck on firmly. We passed it back and forth, each of us having a stab at opening it, but to no avail.

Eventually I wanted to pierce a hole in the danged thing and be done but my sister persisted and eventually got it open. Must have taken all of four minutes in the end.

Every time I cook pasta I heave and sweat and pull at the packet, but it must be sealed down with superglue because what happens in the end is that the packet part gives way down the middle and pasta flies all over the place while the seal on the packet remains virtually intact.

Liqui Fruit has three seals you have to overcome before you can get at the juice; this is overkill! By the time you get to the foil seal at the very bottom, you've run out of energy for the main event; drinking the stuff!

Coming out in the wash

Last week I was trying to open a bucket of washing powder, by pushing down that piece of plastic in the middle, so that I could get at the lid to prise it open. When pushing down, the plastic refused to give until I exerted more pressure, whereupon it gave suddenly and violently, shredding the skin on my index finger and scraping my thumb.

The other result was that my face nearly made contact with the lid at the same time, since I had put nearly all of my considerable weight behind the endeavour.

Imagine me rocking up to work with a black eye and battered hands and people saying, what happened to you? Only to be regaled with the unlikely tale of my being attacked by a recalcitrant bucket of washing powder! Seems to stretch the boundaries of credibility somewhat, no?

Opening bottles of carbonated drinks also requires a team endeavour with much groaning and eye popping as one person hold the bottle and the other tries to get the lid off. Nine times out of ten, a third individual is required to bring relief to the second whose hands by then are rubbed raw with the effort.

Jars of peanut butter and jam require a hammering with knife around the edges in order to have any chance of opening them on one's own and once you have them open the lid is so buckled you battle to re-seal them.

The manufacturers should include angle grinders in the packaging, from now on, methinks!

Send your comments to Colleen.

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